Ardis Nicolaus

Ardis Jacob Nicolaus

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Ardis “Art” Jacob Nicolaus, 93, of West Bend, WI (formerly Hartford, WI), beloved husband and best friend of Ardell (nee Navis) Nicolaus for 58 years, entered eternal peace on April 2, 2021.

Ardis was born on October 9, 1927, in Jackson, WI, to Arthur and Meta (nee Aulenbacher) Nicolaus.

Ardis attended Wartburg College in Waverly, IA, and completed his Master’s Degree in School Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He taught Social Studies and Mathematics for 15 years at Lincoln Elementary and Central Middle Schools in Hartford, WI. He also held positions as an Elementary School Principal and Business Manager. For 30 years, Ardis was the Hartford School District’s Assistant District Administrator in charge of finance.

On August 4, 1962, he married the love of his life, Ardell Navis. Together, they had two daughters, Amy and Arla, who will be forever grateful for such a kind, patient and generous father.

Ardis was a man of strong Christian faith, and he and Ardell were members of the First United Methodist Church in Hartford, WI.

As a couple, Ardis and Ardell shared a love of adventure and upon retiring in 1995, they traveled throughout the world. Ardis took great pride in gardening and was a member of the Hartford Garden Club. For 53 years, he was a member of the Hartford Lions Club. In addition to holding multiple officer positions including President of the club in 1979, Ardis collected thousands of donated glasses that were later distributed by the Lions Club International to needy countries throughout the world. Ardis was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship for his many contributions to the club. In 2015, Ardis was awarded the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Retired Educators Association for his work in developing and maintaining computer programs to track membership and finance reports.

Ardis was a humble man who was admired for his kindness, honesty, hard work and integrity. Words cannot express how much he will be missed.

Ardis is survived by his loving wife, Ardell; two daughters, Amy (Jim) Chihak of Rochester, MN, and Arla (Jeff) Buch of Pewaukee, WI; four grandchildren, Kayli (Mitch) Hoy, Carly (Matt) Gordy, Bria Buch (fiancé Jon Cappel), and Dan Chihak; three great-grandchildren, James, Juniper and Benjamin. He is also survived by his sister, Eleanora Janz, of Cedarburg, WI, other relatives and friends.

Ardis is preceded in death by his parents, sister Georgia Steube, and great-grandson Cooper.

A Private Christian Celebration of Life and Blessing of Ashes will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hartford Schauer Center, Lions Club International and/or Horizon Hospice in West Bend, WI.

Ardis’ family is grateful for the care he received from the staff at Cedar Community, Froedtert Hospital and Horizon Hospice.
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Ed Behnke

Posted at 11:16am
My wife and I extend our deepest sympathies to Art's family. Art was the School District of Hartford's business manager when I was hired in 1977. He was always kind and pleasant when we talked. I remember every morning when we brought in the newspaper it was placed on the board room table so Art could check it out first thing in the morning. May all your wonderful memories carry you through this tough time.

Ed and Debbie Behnke

Robin Shelley Pfotenhauer

Posted at 09:55am
Ardell I am so sorry at the passing of Art. I wish that this last year had been different so that we could have seen the two of you more often before he left us. May the peace of God be with you and your whole family during this time of sadness.


Robin Pfotenhauer

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 03:05pm
With deepest sympathy,
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